When You Start a New Business, Cultivating Relationships and Partnerships is a Key to Success

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Today I met with a client who is in the process of starting a new business. She and her business partner will be providing lawn care services for both commercial and residential properties. Once some bids come in (keep your fingers crossed!), the company will need to hire workers immediately so that they can start serving their new clients.

In the past few days, we have met with an individual who provides health care and disability benefits for small businesses, a payroll provider, a company that carries out background checks and next week we are meeting with bookkeeper and a local banker to discuss setting up an account and a line of credit. My client also has a network of friends, colleagues and acquaintances that she can call on for help.

My work with this client has reinforced two lessons about starting and running a business.

  1. No man, or woman, is an island and you can’t expect to start and run a business on your own. As the business owner, concentrate on what you do best (what service you provide or product you produce) and outsource whatever else you can. The business owners who try to do it all themselves usually get into trouble sooner or later when they have to undo the trouble they unknowingly caused. Usually, it will cost you less in the long run to work with a professional, whether that be a bookkeeper, payroll provider, attorney, or accountant. Forge and nurture these relationships because they will help your business grow and thrive.
  2. Go local. I didn’t introduce my client to ADP or PayChex for payroll services, but rather to a local payroll provider. I didn’t suggest that we talk with US Bank or Wells Fargo but rather a local bank that can provide personal service and will understand your needs as a small business owner. (Have you heard about Arianna’s Huffington pledge to Move Your Money?). Keep your business and your money local and help our communities.

Starting a new business is a challenge and never easy. However, developing key partnerships will make the journey easier and keeping your business local will help us all in the long run.

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